Kanteman becomes late addition
Trevor Kanteman will join the Illinois football team.
It's just unclear exactly when he might actually take the field for the Illini.
Illinois received a verbal commitment from the tight end/H-back last week.
The Woodland Hills, Calif., native spent last fall at Pierce College, a junior college in Los Angeles, just up the road from where Kanteman played high school football at Royal (Calif.) High School.
He did not play last season for Pierce while he recovered from a torn ACL in his left knee that he suffered midway through his senior season at Royal, where he caught 50 passes for 554 yards and two touchdowns in seven games his senior season.
He grayshirted last season at Pierce, meaning he attended classes but did not practice or compete.
So even though Kanteman graduated from high school in 2012, when he arrives at Illinois he'll be considered a true freshman.
Kanteman had offers out of high school, but mostly from Football Championship Subdivision schools, with nearby UCLA showing some interest.
Time will tell if Illinois offering him early leads to a recruiting steal. Hard to know right away given he hasn't played a football game in nearly two seasons.
"In high school I wasn't as athletic as I am now," Kanteman said. "I spent a lot of time rehabbing. It helped me become a lot more explosive."
Kanteman said Illinois wide receivers coach Mike Bellamy was the main recruiter on him and that Illinois first became interested in him after taking a look at another Pierce player.
"I guess I caught their attention," Kanteman said. "Coach Bellamy is a great coach. I've already used some of the pointers he talked to me about, and I see them making a difference."
Kanteman checks in at 6 feet, 4 inches and 240 pounds.
He said he is fully healed and plans to arrive in Champaign sometime this summer, making him the sixth junior college transfer Tim Beckman has brought in with the Class of 2013.
"I'm ready to contribute," Kanteman said. "I like the tradition at Illinois and think they're going to be on the rise. I know I can play at this level. That's why I didn't take up any of the offers coming at me out of high school and went the junior college route."